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737 article submissions by the ChefTalk.com community.

Confessions of a Sell Out Chef

  • by PeteModerator

Written By Chef Peter Martin This past fall I found myself unemployed.  With the economy the in the middle of its downward spiral, this was not a good thing.  And being a chef in Wisconsin my prospects were few.  While job hunting I got a call from a friend who had recently made the jump from the restaurant world into the world of institutional foodservice.  He claimed that he was enjoying his job and the lifestyle it afforded him, and better yet, he knew of a position open in his company working as a food service director for the county jails, and felt I should... read more

Hunting Camp Cooking

If you belong to the first group, may as well stop reading right now. But if you believe in setting a fine table at hunting camp, then read on. What we'll be doing is exploring the problems and special conditions inherent in cooking "gourmet," given the restrictions imposed by time, location, and available tools and appliances.First thing to keep in mind is that you have to make some compromises. To be sure, I've been fortunate, in my work, to enjoy meals at some upscale hunting camps that would hold their own against anything served in a fine-dining restaurant. Such... read more

A Brief Tour of American Barbecue

  • by PeteModerator

Barbecue, barbeque, BBQ, or Bar-B-Que, no matter how you spell it America has developed an insatiable appetite for the stuff.  Restaurants specialize in it, competitions abound, and backyard grill jockeys brag about their deftness at creating perfectly tender, spicy, smoked meats.  But with all this hullaballoo, I would bet that, if you asked the average person to describe barbecue the first thing they would mention is baby back ribs slathered with a sweet and spicy tomato based sauce.  While that certainly is barbecue, it is but one type of barbecue, and one that isn’t... read more

Leaving the Business: The Dark Side

  • by PeteModerator

  A few years ago, I wrote an article for this website entitled “ ​.”  In the years between then and now and I've discovered another dark side to this industry that so many of us gravitate to.  This job, this lifestyle, is an addiction.  I’m not talking your  garden variety, “Oh, I’m addicted to my morning coffee” kind of addiction.  I’m talking the gut wrenching, hardcore withdrawal symptoms, battling the urge to sink back into oblivion every day for the rest of your life kind of addiction.   When I wrote that article, I was still in the halcyon days of the... read more

Burgatory - Behind the Burger

Behind the Burger: Burgatory, Pittsburgh by Jim Berman CCI     Is the twelve-course degustation menu going by way of Baked Alaska and Tomatoes in Aspic? Perhaps, so. Perhaps the local movement will embed and hang tough; the way we ate 200 years’ ago is new again. Bold plates of quality ingredients is the rage. Only this time around, it is because we want to, not just because we have to; going back to our roots, as if we ever are able to abandon them, if you will. Roots, by definition, provide footing, vital life-giving juices and at the end of the day, a... read more

How To Choose The Right Knife

Every Cook Needs a Good KnifeKitchen gadgets are supposed to make our busy lives simpler but there are still only two really essential pieces of equipment a cook needs (other than a heat source, of course): a good pan and a high-quality chef's knife. The knife, though, is really most important; there is no other tool in the kitchen that is as useful as the chef's knife.  Sure, other things may look good on a shelf, but all the chrome-plated garlic presses, cobalt blue mixers, and three-speed immersion blenders combined do not compare with the importance of the humble... read more

Tools Every Kitchen Needs The Essentials

Chefs get asked all kinds of questions. Recently, I received the following question: "Dear Chef Christopher-- I dream of being a great cook. What equipment should I have in my kitchen so that I can fulfill my dream? I want everything I need to be a great cook." For those who aspire to be the best cook they can be, having the proper kitchen equipment is paramount to maximizing success and limiting the frustration (you know, the kind you get when trying to whip egg whites with a fork and a small plastic bowl, or roast a turkey in a flimsy pan that's plainly too small--all... read more

Discovering The Deli Cole Slaw

Discovering the Deli: Cole Slaw   Some time in the fall, I decided my long-term goal would be to open my deli. I grew up on deli food and miss it so - the soft, seeded-rye; stinky chopped chicken livers; the dew on the windows from the corned beefs… corning; the grease-glazed knishes; mountains of yellow potato salad. Delaware is not a haven for such gastronomical delights beyond chicken ‘n dumplings and steamed crabs. My very indiscriminate love of good food was born of my experience with really good deli food. So, in seven years, I want to open a deli. I have... read more

How To Make Latkes Potato Pancakes

Written by: Jim Berman CCI Some time in early fall, I decided my long-term goal would be to open my deli. I grew up on deli food and miss it so - the soft, seeded-rye; stinky chopped chicken livers; the dew on the windows from the corned beefs… corning; the grease-glazed knishes; mountains of yellow potato salad. Delaware is not a haven for such gastronomical delights beyond chicken 'n dumplings and steamed crabs. My very indiscriminate love of good food was born of my experience with really good deli food. So, in seven years, I want to open a deli. I have never been... read more

Why I Cook: A Chef's Manifesto

To start, I think we have to answer a more fundamental question: why do we eat?  The most basic of answers is a simple biological necessity.  If you don't eat, your body starves, shrivels up and dies.  But there is of coarse more to it than that.  If not, then why not just "evolve" food into a nutrient rich paste from which we can all derive our sustenance?  Why then did Homo erectus start using fire to cook food?  The answer lies in our love of food.  I don't think anything else could be far more rudimentary and primal than a love for food.  I mean, who does not have... read more

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